Does 'preventative-Botox' really work?

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You’d think in your twenties, the only wrinkles you need to worry about are the ones you get from sleeping strangely on your pillow. But an increasing number of women in their mid to late 20s are getting Botox  in order to prevent future wrinkles.

To find out whether or not their behaviour is insane or pragmatic, I spoke to Holly Limet, a nurse at The Clinic in Bondi Junction – who administers Botox injections all day every day.

What age do people usually start getting Botox, and why? 

We have Botox patients that come in from 25 onwards that are starting to think in term of prevention. I guess in terms of age, we think of it as just a number. We have 25 year olds that come in here with sun damaged skin, wrinkled skin, the worst skin you’ve ever seen in your life because they smoke and they drink and they party and they carry on. Then we have 40 year old women who have porcelain unlined amazing skin. It just depends on the condition of the skin. But if someone is starting to notice fine lines coming through and they really want to prevent them from turning into larger folds, that is your ideal Botox patient.

If you use Botox for a really long time what happens to your face? Like does it weaken muscles long term? Become more effective?
The longer you use it the less product you need. When you’ve got Botox you won’t be working the muscles as much so you won’t be getting as lined. This means you’re going to need less treatment overall.

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Does that mean the muscles are weaker?
There’s no evidence that suggests you get muscle weakness from prolonged use of Botox. Once Botox wears off you’re back to base line, and those muscles will move more than they’ve ever moved in their life!

Is there a way to get Botox without getting that frozen look in your face?
Yes, your Botox dose is decided upon by you and the person injecting you. The two of you establish, during your consultation what the desired result is. And how you can go about getting that.

There are standard doses that you can follow but not everyone is a standard person, so you can add more units or take some away to give a more natural result or a more hardcore result, it really does depend on the patient. Some people have incredibly strong muscles that require more Botox. And some people have muscles that take to the product so well that they come in twice a year for treatment, which is amazing. It’s on an individual basis. It’s up to you.

But what is a standard dose?
It depends on the region of your face. The most popular region is your frown lines, and the standard dose there is around 20 units. For around the eyes, it’s generally around 12 units per side, so 24 units for your crow’s feet.

Approximately how often do people get Botox?

Around every 3 months.

And how much is it?

Your starting dose is $400 for one area, and that is for up to 25 units.

If you use Botox and you don’t like the results, is there a way to reverse it?


Botox can’t be reversed, so for first timers conservative doses are always best. It’s really important to know with Botox you can always add more. You can add more two weeks post your treatment, when you come in for a follow up consultation. Then you can always tweak it with a couple of extra units, but you can’t take units away. You have to wait for the Botox to wear off, which is always at least three months. Being conservative is the aim. It doesn’t take a huge amount of units to yield a good result. Nobody wants to look like they’ve had a cosmetic procedure done, and that you cant animate their face, naturally. Nobody asks for that.

When it comes to getting Botox, whether it’s to prevent future wrinkles, or soften the ones you already have, there are two big questions you need to ask yourself. The first is “Is getting a cosmetic procedure like this something I’m personally comfortable with?” Because a lot of people aren’t – and that’s a totally valid (and way more affordable) choice.

The second question is “Have I found the right doctor”. This is your face we’re talking about, so seek word of mouth recommendations, don’t cut corners and if something feels fishy, don’t do it.

Have you ever considered Botox?

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